“You don’t have to come along if you can’t take time off, you know. I can go myself. Really, no hard feelings okay”
That’s what I told Hubby a few days before my next pre-natal check-up at Dr C’s clinic. He probably feared that I would find out ddmm’s gender on my own again and put him in suspense for a few weeks before revealing the truth – like what happened when I was pregnant with E. So he came along… ♪ la la la ♫
How to make your doctor happy
On the way to the clinic, we dropped by at Starbucks to get some breakfast for ourselves and Dr C. He has lost some weight recently and been looking rather tired, unlike his usual chirpy self – so we thought some hot and healthy breakfast may cheer him up and give a change to his mundane daily routine. His face brightened up when we passed the brown bag to him. Yes, it’s part of our PR efforts in ensuring a continuously fantastic doctor-patient relationship! 🙂
On the screen
A month ago, ddmm was still a dot. Today, he/she has grown hands, legs, neck and body. A seasoned father, Hubby played doctor and began to explain to me which is what on the ultrasound: “Hah, this is the head, the body is here and here are the hands!”
Dr C just listened on and probably thought, “So clever, take over my job la!” I couldn’t help but to chuckle and listen intently to the beaming father-to-be.
My instant thought the moment I saw ddmm on the ultrasound screen? “Oh boy, the baby looks like a boy!” I don’t know why I thought so, maybe it’s just mommy’s instinct. It’s still too early to tell the gender – we will find out on the 5th month. What say you?
ddmm twitched twice during the scan but I didn’t feel a thing, which further confirmed that what I felt the other night wasn’t ddmm, just gas bubble. He/she measured 5cm in size at 11 weeks – so once again, my bloated tummy isn’t ddmm but yet again, gas. Ishk…
ddmm had a quick nuchal translucency (NT) screening done today. Conducted at 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy, it’s a scan to assess the thickness of soft tissues around the back of a foetus’ neck which will help to identify higher risks of chromosomal defects such as Down’s Syndrome. Dr C mentioned that ddmm’s NT measurement is 1.7mm which is within the normal range. There will be a blood test to further examine the accuracy of this in the next appointment but we are still contemplating whether we should skip this step entirely. Down or not, ddmm is still going to be our baby.
Here’s a money-saving tip!
We showed Dr C Target’s Up&Up prenatal vitamins from US which I have been consuming and asked if the nutrients listed are sufficient. “Good enough!” he confirmed. Albeit sold by Target, these vits contain all the necessary ingredients within the right percentage and are very, very affordable. Unlike those in Malaysia which costs around RM14.90 for a bottle of 30 tablets, we paid less than RM15 for a bottle of 100 tablets. Value for money, yo! So if you are planning to get pregnant or breastfeed in the long term, and have friends/relatives who are going to the US, get them to bring home some bottles.
Some of our key questions for Dr C this month:
Q: How much is waterbirth in PHKL? Am I a good candidate for waterbirth?
A: For natural delivery without any complications, it’s around RM4,500. As for C-sec, it can go up to RM11,000! As for waterbirth, it costs around RM6,000. Your previous pregnancy was fuss-free. If all goes well with this pregnancy, you can definitely go for waterbirth. But one thing I would recommend though is, you may want to consider taking up a Hypnobirthing course. It teaches you how to stay composed and manage contractions calmly.
A further survey with mommies who recently had waterbirth at PHKL under Dr C confirmed the costs above. Considering that I may opt to stay in the phweeeeeee two-bedded or four-bedded room this time around (a 2012 rooming promotion by PHKL) and if everything goes as planned, we should be able to stay within our budget….I hope! Why la does the noble act of bringing a life into the world can cost so much?!
Q: I know it’s a little too early to talk about birth plan but how possible is it for me to move around freely and labour at my own pace without constantly being strapped down by electronic foetal monitoring (EFM) machine?
A: My practise is, I will usually get the midwives to monitor the mom with EFM for 30 minutes upon admission. You are free to walk around after that although the midwives will come in once in a while to check on your baby’s heart rate with a manual foetoscope.
As you can see, I’m still quite traumatised and sceptical about hospital birth after the experience with Ewan. At the same time, I’m not sure if home birth is my cup of tea either. I have total faith in my body and my baby, and what God has in plans for us, but at the same time, I also believe that I do have control over my destiny in some ways. Let’s see if my perception change after the Hypnobirthing course.
Q: What actually happened with my previous birth? Was my baby breathing at all when he was born? What caused that to happen? Was it because I took epidural? I can’t remember the details because everything happened so quickly.
A: We don’t exactly know the cause for such cases. It could be because of the epidural, it could be something else. It just happens in some births. Ewan was slow in breathing when he was born. We had to help him breathe by resuscitating and intubating him. But bear in mind that not every birth will repeat its history. I don’t foresee the same thing happening to you again.
It won’t, I’m sure.